How Much Do You Really Know About Your Government?

Written by: Lilly Cobal

Read On To Find Out How Much You Actually Know About The Government’s Branches, Laws and Regulations

How well do you know the governing entity that runs your country? The United States government is a group of people who have the authority to conduct policies and actions of a state and country. The United States federal government is classified into three distinct branches, Executive, Legislative and Judicial.

Each branch of the government is responsible for governing separate sectors of the country. The Executive Branch consists of the president of the United States, the vice president and the cabinet. It is responsible for carrying out laws. The Legislative Branch consists of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives. This branch makes laws the laws that are carried out by the Executive Branch. Last is the Judicial Branch. This branch consists of the Supreme Court and other lower federal courts. It’s responsible for interpreting laws and evaluating laws. The branches work together to govern the country and can overturn acts of the other branches in a system of checks and balances. Read on to find out more about each branch and how they come together to make the government.

Executive Branch
The Executive Branch is led by the president who is voted in by American citizens. He or she is the head of the country and the leader of the federal government. Another important fact about this position is that the president is the leader of the United States armed forces. The president serves four year terms and can only be in office for two terms. The vice president is the immediate backup to the president and if the president is unable to serve, the vice president is next in line to serve. The cabinet is a group of officials who serve as advisors to the president. They are high ranking government officials and it consists of the vice president.

The Executive Branch executes and enforces laws that are created by the Legislative Branch. It has the power to veto, reject and propose laws. It also has the power to negotiate foreign treaties with other countries, appoint federal judges, grand pardons for crimes and the president can pass executive orders. An executive order is an order with the full force of the law behind it. The president can also issue proclamations that can be used to take note of holidays or honor people.

Since the government has a system of checks balances, the other branches can confirm or reject the president’s nominees and can remove the president from office in exceptional circumstances. The Legislative Branch is typically the branch responsible for vetoing or confirming nominees and laws proposed by the Executive Branch.

Legislative Branch
The Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which come together to form the United States Congress. The House of Representatives is made up of over 400 elected members who are divided among 50 states by the population of American citizens in the state. It also consists of the Speaker of the House who is elected by the Representatives. The Speaker of the House is third in the line of succession to the Presidency behind the vice president. The members of the house are elected every two years and must be 25 years of age. On the other hand, the Senate is created of 100 Senators, two for every state.

Even though the president is the leader of the army, Congress has the authority to enact legislation and declare war. Congress also has the power to the right to confirm or reject many presidential appointments and substantial investigative powers. Other powers the House has are to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials (including the president) and elect a president in the case of an electoral college tie.

The checks and balances system applies to the Legislative Branch as well. The president has the power to veto legislation created by the Legislative Branch. In the Judicial Branch, the Justices of the Supreme Court can overturn laws they view as unconstitutional laws even if they are confirmed by the Senate.

Judicial Branch
Opposed to the members of the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch, members of the Judicial Branch don’t need to be voted in by American citizens. They are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The number of Supreme Court Justices varies, but there can be eight Associate Justices with one Chief Justice. Also, there are no terms or limits of years for Federal judges. They can only be removed if they are impeached by the House of Representatives or convicted by the Senate. They serve until their death, retirement or conviction by the Senate.

The power of the Supreme Court Justices varies and Congress has the ability to create courts that are inferior to the Supreme Court. There are also 13 United States courts of appeals that review appealed district court cases.

Since the Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the checks and balances of who is appointed vary by the president in office at the time of appointment.

The branches of the United States government have a wide range of power and authority that were established to protect the American people in a fair manner. Each branch has a different number of members, methods of terms to serve, election process and appointment process. There is a system of checks and balances that keeps each branch accountable for one another and responsible for laws and nominations.


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How Much Do You Really Know About Your Government?

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